Apple and Amazon announced on Friday that Apple Music will be arriving on Echo smart speakers next month.
The new Apple Music integration will launch as an Alexa skill the week of Dec. 17, the two companies announced in a blog post. The added support will allow Apple Music subscribers to listen to the streaming platform through Echo speakers — and use Alexa to control playback.
“Apple Music subscribers will be able to enjoy Apple Music’s 50 million songs on Echo devices,” Amazon wrote. “Customers will be able to ask Alexa to play their favorite songs, artists, and albums—or any of the playlists made by Apple Music’s editors from around the world, covering many activities and moods.”
This will make the first time that Apple Music will be supported by a smart speaker or digital assistant other than HomePod and Siri.
While Amazon Echo is a HomePod competitor, the move makes quite a bit of sense when you consider Apple’s continuing change to a Services-based business model. For Amazon’s part, the move bodes well for its continued dominance in the smart speaker sphere.
How Do I Get It?
Being an Alexa skill, the Apple Music functionality will need to be enabled before it’s used. But once it is, Apple Music subscribers should expect functionality similar to the existing streaming platforms supported by the Echo lineup — such as Spotify, iHeartRadio, Pandora and, of course, Amazon Music.
Apple Music / Spotify Legal Battle
Apple Music is currently in a heated battle with streaming juggernaut Spotify. Reportedly, Apple Music had about 56 million paid subscribers compared to Spotify’s last reported 87 million global subscribers.
It’s worth noting that, as far as market share, some reports indicate that Apple Music may actually be ahead of Spotify when it comes to paid subscribers in the U.S. That’s might be due to the fact that Spotify offers a free tier, while Apple Music only offers a free trial.
It isn’t currently clear whether Apple Music will be available on other Alexa-enabled speakers — like third-party options from Sonos and Bose. But with Apple Music arriving on Echo devices, it’s not a stretch to say broader support may be on the way, too.
“We are committed to offering great music providers to our customers and since launching the Music Skill API to developers just last month, we’ve expanded the music selection on Alexa to include even more top tier services,” said Amazon SVP David Limp.